‘SugarProjects – Top 10 Software Essentials for a Creative Design Studio’

| Gabrielle Skelton |

From GIMP to Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word to Visual Studio Code or Twitter to Social Sprout, we rely heavily on industry leading software to complete day-to-day tasks in SugarProjects. Our ‘Top 10 Software Essentials for a Creative Design Studio’ are listed below, there is no clear winner, but we all have our favourites!

Adobe InDesign [FAV]
InDesign is a publishing software program which is used across the full spectrum of the digital and print media industry. The software can be used for the creation of print publications such as flyers, books, brochures, and can also be used for digital content such as mobile applications, interactive documents and web design. The software offers a variety of tools ranging from editing and drawing which can be used for creating and manipulating objects and text.
A clear favourite in the SugarProjects studio, especially for print jobs. InDesign is the go-to program for all our major design and layout jobs.

Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is a professional graphic art program that is used by both artists and graphic designers to create and edit vector images. Publications that can be created include illustrations, logos, diagrams, cartoons, and much more. Users have a variety of tools available to create, select and manipulate objects as well as having additional tools that are specific to their ideas and creations.
We use Illustrator primarily for developing new logos and creating bespoke graphics / icons for new and existing clients.

Adobe XD [FAV]
Adobe XD (Adobe Experienced Design) is a user experience design software. The interactive software is used for creating wireframes and visual click-through prototypes and includes tools that can prototype for multiple platforms such as web, mobile, and tablet. Users can wireframe their solutions, transition between their artboards/prototypes and also export their assets for production use once they have finished.
Although relatively new to the Adobe suite, Adobe XD has rapidly become one of our most valuable design tools for both web and mobile applications, meaning we can provide our clients with high-fidelity wireframes and prototypes in a shorter amount of time.

Spotify is a digital music service that gives users access to millions of songs, podcasts and videos right from their laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Users can discover new music daily, create personalised playlists and also share their music via social media. In addition, once you sign up with your Facebook account, you can follow your friends which allows you to view their online playlists and also see their live streaming lists.
Streaming music on demand is vital, especially when you need to take a break from BBC Radio 1 playing the same Ed Sheeran song for the 13th time that day. The ‘Throwback Thursday’ curated playlist is a firm favourite at SugarProjects. Each week the theme changes from early 00’s R’n’B to long forgotten 90’s bangers so you are guaranteed a few classic songs to get you motivated.

Timecamp is an online tracking tool which logs the activity of computer users and invoices employees work through their hourly rate, measuring time allocated, effectiveness and project management. Features implemented include; a graphical timesheet, timer, reports, real time dashboard, and much more.
Effectively used as a ‘live’ project management tool, Timecamp allows us to record all ongoing projects, set budgets, add job notes and create reports for invoicing.

Basecamp is an online project management and team communication software. The software organises and brings together your team projects, communications, and client work so it can be viewed by everyone from one central place. The software features to-dos lists, a message board for announcements, chat rooms, and much more to help aid in the organisation of your work projects.
Basecamp is a project management tool that helps us to stay organised. Although primarily used for large projects with multiple clients, we regularly plan our working week with the help of Basecamp to-do lists.

Chrome Developer tools [FAV]
Chrome Developer tools (DevTools) are a set of authoring, debugging and profiling tools that are built into the Google Chrome web browser. The tools give the user the option to access the internals of the browser, enabling them to view the core of their webpages. Their main functions are to help track down layout issues, Javascript breakdowns, gain insights for code optimization, and responsive checks. The tools are broken into eight sections for the user, these are shown as; elements, console, sources, network, performance, memory, application, security and audits.
Chrome and Firefox developer tools are a vital part of the SugarProjects website development cycle. They play an important part in the debugging & testing of all our sites. With the multitude of developer tools features at our disposal our development team are able to ensure that our code is of a high standard, error free and our pages load faster than ever.

Visual Studio Code
Visual studio code is a source code editor created by Microsoft, it features support for debugging, syntax highlighting, snippets, code refactoring, and much more. In addition, the software is completely customisable, therefore, users can change preferences, themes, and keyboard shortcuts. The software features a quick source code editor and also supports hundreds of languages.
This very lightweight editor stands second-to-none in the source code editor world. With the high level of extensions and customisation options available our development team never close this program down! When tasked with working on small projects or alterations, opening a full IDE can be overkill. Thankfully Visual Studio Code is here to fill the gap.

Twitter is an online news, microblogging and social networking service. Users can access the platform from their laptop, tablet or mobile phone or download the app which is available on all Apple and Android stores. Registered users can post tweets, stream live videos, create polls, and also gain insight into their analytics. The platform shows trending tweets and news stories depending on your geographical location, that, of which, can be personalised.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – we use them all to help spread the good work we do ?. Our preferred platform is Twitter, simply because it is easy to interact quickly and effectively with our audience!

Pinterest is both a web and mobile application that is designed to discover different ideas on the Web. It is used for collecting visual content which can be saved to your own personal profile. Users can interact with one another by liking, commenting, and repining other peoples’ boards which makes it a social platform in many cases.
Pinterest is one of our go-to sites for inspiration. The website/app provides us with a snapshot of creativity from all industries including; design, fashion, music, movies, arts, etc.

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